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for mom

November 30, 2015



This last post is dedicated to my mom, who is the bravest person I know.

On Friday, she started chemotherapy for a mass on her spleen; she’d been in remission for eight years. You’d think she’d be pissed off at the world, the universe, all the Gods, the next-door neighbour, the postman, everything and everyone. You’d think she’d be depressed and feeling sorry for herself (I know I would). But she wasn’t angry and she wasn’t sad. Instead, she went in there like a boss, prepared with a bag of yarn for crocheting and a Sudoku book, some lunch and little snacks as if she were going on a trip abroad and needed something to occupy her time on the plane.

And even though she had several bad reactions to the serum and her first treatment lasted 9 hours, even though the yarn and Sudoku book never made it out of the bag, even though her lunch went untouched and she was in complete agony all night, my sisters and I received this little ray of sunshine in our inboxes on Sunday morning:

“This morning I got dressed nice and warm and fed my little birds. They were pretty happy. And then I went for a marvelous walk out back and up the hill. Not the  hill to the house but the one to the right which leads to the fields. Oh it was so wonderful to be out in the fresh dry air. I wandered around the field noting all the new growth from whenever it was I last walked up there and it always gives me such hope to see that life really does find a way.'”

When I became a mother, I realised just how many sacrifices my own mom had to make over the years for my sisters and I. There isn’t a mother’s day card on the planet that fully encompasses the selflessness, the unconditional love, the lengths mothers will go to keep their children safe and happy, even if that means blowing sunshine out of their arses while having chemotherapy, just so that their kids don’t have to worry.

Thank you, mom, for inspiring me to be a better mother (and person) every day. I only hope I can be as strong a role model for Wren someday. 

Also, here’s to kicking that cancer’s ass!


Well, that’s it folks. I survived 30 days (minus 2? 3? posts) of blogging.

And now, it’s time to switch gears, slow down, catch up on some sleep, decorate the Christmas tree, bake a pumpkin pie, light a fire, read my brother-in-law’s manuscript, turn the damned computer off. I might be back in December, I might not. But one thing is for certain, I won’t wait for another Nablopomo to roll around before putting pen to paper again. No matter how challenging it was, it still felt great to write again and reconnect with long-lost friends.

So grateful to Xanthe, Andrea, Karen, Pen and Elizabeth for lighting a fire under my ass this past month. I couldn’t have done it without them. And thanks to each and every one of you for stopping by and commenting. Really means the world to me.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. Grace permalink
    November 30, 2015 10:20 pm

    What a beautiful tribute, Jeannine. Sending up prayers for your mom.

  2. November 30, 2015 10:37 pm

    Sending positive vibes to your Mom and huge congratulations to you for winning the race. I think you have a bit of your Mom in you.
    Enjoy your December with all the light and joy it brings.!! Find a good book, make a pot of tea and enjoy and yes, come back every once in awhile.

  3. Heidi Hooten permalink
    November 30, 2015 10:38 pm

    Dear Jeanine-

    I have followed you for several years anonymously, and I think I may have literally gasped when I realized you were blogging again in November — your writing is wonderful, and your life — even the sleepless parts — always seems like such an adventure! Your photos are lovely and your daughter beautiful. Just wanted you to know I enjoy you vicariously from afar, and hope when life slows down that you will keep it up. (Also, healing thoughts for your mother who looks like a real sweetie.) Thanks so much for sharing yourself with the world (and one semi-elderly woman in Wisconsin!)



  4. November 30, 2015 10:39 pm

    LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE you– and sending SOOoooo much love to that amazing mama of yours!! FIERCE courage– sweet spirit!!

  5. Alison permalink
    November 30, 2015 10:39 pm

    Oh my sweets. You are too kind. Way too kind. And hon you already are and have been a fantastic role model for your little Wren. I see it all the time. Do not underestimate yourself. And I’m not saying I’m a good mom but with daughters as over the top, ultra fantastic and kind and generous and silly as mine it would be very difficult to not be. I love you.

  6. November 30, 2015 10:46 pm

    I can see where you get your courage and wonderful spirit from! Sending your mom heaps of healing vibes.

    Gorgeous words, I’ve loved reading your writing again. Haven’t been the most regular commenter but have read every single post and been loving it! xxx

  7. December 1, 2015 6:37 am

    Mama Caron – what a total legend! No wonder you turned out so fabulous. Wren is in very very good lady company xxx

  8. December 1, 2015 8:07 am

    You writing again has been such a gift. I am so grateful! I hope you don’t forget about all of your many fans who sit on this side of the computer screen just WAITING for you to post. 🙂 Congratulations–your a MOM now. I will send prayers for your mom for strength and healing. It sounds like she will kick ass again! Stupid cancer. I have enjoyed every word and every photo and every video. Thank you for writing this month. You inspire…you do!

  9. December 1, 2015 8:07 am

    Your mama is amazing! so are you.
    Thank you for all you shared this month, it’s been a pleasure to read and see your pics/films. Enjoy the break… The first Christmas with a baba is pretty special… but hurry back. xxx

  10. December 1, 2015 8:08 am

    I hope I can be the mom your Mom is, when I grow up. This is so inspiring! Thank you for sharing with us.

  11. December 1, 2015 2:02 pm

    Your mum sounds absolutely wonderful, thinking all kinds of good thoughts for her. I’ve really enjoyed your posts and hope you keep going when you get a minute away from your girl 🙂

  12. December 1, 2015 10:09 pm

    oh I have soooo enjoyed reading your words, seeing your images this past month… you’re a rock star, mama. you really, really are. sending up prayers for your mom, I know how hard the fight can be. keep on keepin on. xoxoxo

    • jeanine permalink*
      December 6, 2015 4:32 pm

      thanks gorgeous.

      it’s been SO great reconnecting with you. i do hope we get to meet again sometime in the near future.

      wishing you the best holiday season ever – a feast for all the senses.

      big love xoxo

  13. December 1, 2015 10:30 pm

    I can see where your spirit comes from – your mum sounds incredible. What a lucky girl Wren is, growing up with such wonderful role models. Sending lots of love – and please don’t disappear for too long, I’ve SO enjoyed your posts this month xxx

  14. Karin permalink
    December 2, 2015 7:41 pm

    Dear Jeanine,
    Thank you so much for your efforts here this past month. It’s really an amazing accomplishment, even sans a baby, to write such entertaining, interesting, funny, intelligent essays every day for a month. Yikes! I have looked forward to and loved coming here each day. I do hope you’ll continue to post from time to time.
    I will keep your dear mom in my thoughts. So glad she has her daughters to give her strength and love.
    Thank you again!!
    Love, Karin in California

  15. Nicky Gilkison permalink
    December 15, 2015 6:57 pm

    Well! I followed your blog several years ago, then changes in my world left you behind, today I thought, I wonder what is happening in W and W? Crikey, what changes in your world! I’m reading about your mother, reading your thoughts on motherhood, following the whole Wren story backwards, reflecting on my life as a mother and a daughter and it’s bringing sweet (and bitter sweet) tears to my eyes. Congratulations to you both, to all three of you and to your lovely Mum. XxxxxxxX (even though I don’t know you) from Nicky in New Zealand.

  16. alison s permalink
    February 18, 2016 10:08 pm

    It was lovely having your blog back for a month. I miss your pictures and stories.

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